BISHOP Marcus Stock paid a visit to a Barnoldswick primary school to officially open and bless its new prayer garden.

Governors, parishioners and supporters of St Joseph's School were invited along to the opening carried out by Bishop Stock, of the Leeds Catholic Diocese,

All of the children gathered in the school hall to sing and to listen to readings before the Bishop, the school council, the school's 'Mini Vinnies' and special visitors made their way to the garden for the opening.

The prayer garden was developed last year with the deputy headteacher and the school council gathering ideas and designs from the rest of the children.

Headteacher, Natalie Wood said: "As a school we then wrote to community links and businesses to ask if they could support us in funding items or donating money."

Amongst the donations was a legacy from a late parishioner, Margaret Mary 'Peggy' Humphreys, the daughter of a previous headteacher of the school.

"With this money we were able to incorporate all the items which the children requested," said Ms Wood.

"These included a giant Rosary in the centre, benches to sit quietly and prayer, a selection of flowers and plants which attract mini beasts.

"Our Mini Vinnies also worked with the school council. They also wanted a cross, which we linked with our virtues in school: Love, Friendship, Honesty, Trust and Respect."

Ms Wood said although the school already has beautiful grounds and space, the children and staff wanted a special area that reflected their faith and with a space for peaceful reflection which children could choose to use in their own time.

"It also provides an outdoor area where classes can have collective worship and Religious Education outside.

"The children really enjoy this area and created posters to ask all children to respect it," she said.

There is also a plaque on the cross with Peggy's name on it, so the children can remember who helped make the garden possible.

It is also situated next to the school's Ecool Club gardening area.

"The two areas reflect our wonderful world and thank God for what he has given us," said Ms Wood.

"It was a very special day for our children and staff. Having Bishop Marcus officially open the garden made this an event to remember in our history."